Exodus 9 COMMENTARY (Pulpit)

Exodus 9
Pulpit Commentary
Then the LORD said unto Moses, Go in unto Pharaoh, and tell him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Verse 1. - Excepting in the designation of Jehovah as "the Lord God of the Hebrews," this verse is an almost exact repetition of the first verse of ch. 8. Such repetitious are very characteristic of the most ancient writings.
For if thou refuse to let them go, and wilt hold them still,
Behold, the hand of the LORD is upon thy cattle which is in the field, upon the horses, upon the asses, upon the camels, upon the oxen, and upon the sheep: there shall be a very grievous murrain.
Verse 3. - Thy cattle which is in the field. The word "cattle" here is to be taken generally, as including under it the various kinds particularised. The cattle are mentioned as being at this time "in the field," because during the inundation all of them were brought in and housed, while, after the waters had retired, and the land had dried, most of them were turned out to graze. This is always the time at which epidemics break out. The horses, the asses, etc. Horses, which had been unknown prior to the Hyksos invasion, and which consequently do not appear in the list of animals presented to Abraham (Genesis 12:16), first became common under the eighteenth dynasty, when they seem to have been employed exclusively in war. Their use for agricultural purposes, which is perhaps here indicated, was not till later. (See Chabas, Etudes sur l'Antquite' Historic, p. 421.) The ass was employed in great numbers at all times in Egypt. Women and children rode on them, men sometimes in a sort of litter between two of them. They were chiefly used for carrying burthens, which were sometimes of enormous size (Lepsius, Denkmaler, Part 2. pls. 42a, 47, 56, 80c, etc.). The camels. Camels are not represented on any Egyptian monument; but they are occasionally mentioned in the inscriptions (Chabas, Etudes, pp. 400-13). They are called kauri or kamaru. There is no doubt of their employment by the Egyptians as beasts of burthen in the traffic with Syria and with the Sinaitic peninsula.
And the LORD shall sever between the cattle of Israel and the cattle of Egypt: and there shall nothing die of all that is the children's of Israel.
Verse 4. - The Lord shall sever. Compare Exodus 8:22. There shall nothing die, etc The original is more emphatic, and might be rendered literally - " There shall not die of all that is the children's of Israel a thing."
And the LORD appointed a set time, saying, To morrow the LORD shall do this thing in the land.
Verse 5. - To-morrow. God may have interposed the interval in order that such as believed the announcement might save their animals by bringing them in out of the fields. All the cattle died - i.e, all that were "in the field" (ver. 3).
And the LORD did that thing on the morrow, and all the cattle of Egypt died: but of the cattle of the children of Israel died not one.
And Pharaoh sent, and, behold, there was not one of the cattle of the Israelites dead. And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, and he did not let the people go.
Verse 7. - And Pharaoh sent. This time the king had the curiosity to send out and see whether the Israelites had been spared. Though he found the fact correspond to the announcement, he was not seriously impressed. Perhaps he thought the Israelites took better care of their cattle and were better cattle doctors than his own people. (The doctoring of cattle is represented on the monuments. Rosellini, Mon. Civ. pl. 31.) Or he may have attributed the escape of their animals to the more healthy air of Goshen. Pharaoh's heart was hardened. The plague affected him less than others had done, rather than more. He was so rich that an affliction which touched nothing but property seemed a trivial matter What cared he for the sufferings of the poor beasts, or the ruin of those who depended upon the breeding and feeding of cattle

CHAPTER 9:8-12
And the LORD said unto Moses and unto Aaron, Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh.
Verses 8-12. - THE SIXTH PLAGUE. The sixth plague was sent, like the third, without notice given. It was also, like the third, a plague which inflicted direct injury upon the person. There was a very solemn warning in it; for the same power that could afflict the body with "boils and blains," i.e., with a severe cutaneous disease accompanied by pustulous ulcers - could also (it must have been felt) smite it with death. It is uncertain what exactly the malady was. Some have supposed elephantiasis, some "black leprosy," some merely an eruptive disease such as is even now common m Egypt during the autumn. But it is, at any rate, evident that the malady was exceedingly severe - "the magicians could not stand before Moses" because of it (ver. 11). If it was "the botch of Egypt" (Deuteronomy 28:27), as seems probable, since the name in the Hebrew is the same, it was incurable. Pharaoh and his people were warned by it that God's power would be shown on themselves, not in the way of mere annoyance - as with the earlier plagues - but of serious injury - and if so, why not of death? Thus, the sixth plague heralded the tenth, and, except the tenth, was the most severe of all. Verse 8. - Ashes of the furnace. Rather "soot from the furnace." The word commonly used in Hebrew for "ashes" is different. Many recondite reasons have been brought forward for the directions here given. But perhaps the object was simply to show that as water, and earth (Exodus 8:13) and air (Exodus 10:13) could be turned into plagues, so fire could be. The "soot of the furnace" might well represent fire, and was peculiarly appropriate for the preduction of a disease which was in the main an "inflammation." It is not likely that Moses imitated any superstitious practice of the priests of Egypt. Toward the heaven. The act indicated that the plague would come from heaven - i.e. from God. In the sight of Pharaoh. Compare Exodus 7:20 It is probable that the symbolic act which brought the plague was performed "in the sight of Pharaoh" in every case, except where the plague was unannounced, though the fact is not always recorded.
And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt.
Verse 9. - It shall become small dust. Rather, "It shall be as dust." No physical change is intended by the expression used, but simply that the "soot" or "ash" should be spread by the air throughout all Egypt, as dust was wont to be spread. And shall be a boil breaking forth with blains. Literally, "an inflammation, begetting pustules." The description would apply to almost any eruptive disease. The attempts definitely to determine what exactly the malady was, seem to be futile - more especially as diseases are continually changing their forms, and a malady which belongs to the fourteenth or fifteenth century before our era is almost certain to have been different from any now prevalent. The word "blains" - now obsolete as a separate word - appears in "chilblains." Ver 10. - The furnace. It is perhaps not very important what kind of "furnace" is meant. But the point has been seriously debated. Some suppose a furnace for the consumption of victims, human or other; some a baking oven, or cooking stove; others a furnace for smelting metal; others again a limekiln. The ordinary meaning of the word used, kibshon, is a "brick-kiln;" but bricks were not often baked in Egypt. Nor is it at all clear that any victims were ever consumed in furnaces. Probably either a brick-kiln or a furnace for the smelting of metals is meant.
And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast.
And the magicians could not stand before Moses because of the boils; for the boil was upon the magicians, and upon all the Egyptians.
Verse 11. - The magicians could not stand. It is gathered from this that the magicians had, up to this time, been always in attendance when the miracles were wrought, though they had now for some time failed to produce any counterfeits of them. On this occasion their persistency was punished by the sudden falling of the pestilence upon themselves with such severity that they were forced to quit the royal presence and hasten to their homes to be nursed.
And the LORD hardened the heart of Pharaoh, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken unto Moses.
Verse 12. - And the Lord hardened Pharaoh's heart. Up to this time the hardening of Pharaoh's heart has been ascribed to himself, or expressed indefinitely as a process that was continually going on - now for the first time it is positively stated that God hardened his heart, as he had threatened that he would (Exodus 4:21). On the general law of God's dealings with wicked men, see the comment on the above passage

CHAPTER 9:13-26
And the LORD said unto Moses, Rise up early in the morning, and stand before Pharaoh, and say unto him, Thus saith the LORD God of the Hebrews, Let my people go, that they may serve me.
Verses 13-26. - THE SEVENTH PLAGUE. The sixth plague had had no effect at all upon the hard heart of the Pharaoh, who cared nothing for the physical sufferings of his subjects, and apparently was not himself afflicted by the malady. Moses was therefore ordered to appear before him once more, and warn him of further and yet more terrible visitations which were impending. The long message (vers. 13-19) is without any previous parallel, and contains matter calculated to make an impression even upon the most callous of mortals. First there is an announcement that God is about to send "all his plagues" upon king and people (ver. 14); then a solemn warning that a pestilence might have been sent which would have swept both king and people from the face of the earth (ver. 15); and finally (ver. 18) an announcement of the actual judgment immediately impending, which is to be a hailstorm of a severity never previously known in Egypt, and but rarely experienced elsewhere. Pharaoh is moreover told that the whole object of his having been allowed by God to continue in existence is the glory about to accrue to his name from the exhibition of his power in the deliverance of his people (ver. 16). A peculiar feature of the plague is the warning (ver. 19) whereby those who believed the words of Moses, were enabled to escape a great part of the ill effects of the storm. It is a remarkable indication of the impression made by the previous plagues, that the warning was taken by a considerable number of the Egyptians, who by this means saved their cattle and their slaves (ver. 20). The injury caused by the plague was very great. The flax and barley crops, which were the most advanced suffered complete destruction. Men and beasts were wounded by the hail-stones, which might have been - as hail-stones sometimes are - jagged pieces of ice; and some were even killed, either by the hail (see Joshua 10:11), or by the lightning which accompanied it. Even trees were damaged by the force of the storm, which destroyed the foliage and broke the branches. Verse 13. - Rise up early. Compare Exodus 7:15, and Exodus 8:20. The practice of the Egyptian kings to rise early and proceed at once to the dispatch of business is noted by Herodotus (2:173). It is a common practice of oriental monarchs. And say unto him. The same message is constantly repeated in the same words as a token of God's unchangingness. See Exodus 8:1-20; Exodus 9:1; Exodus 10:3; etc.
For I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart, and upon thy servants, and upon thy people; that thou mayest know that there is none like me in all the earth.
Verse 14. - I will at this time send all my plagues upon thine heart. A very emphatic announcement. At this time contrasts the immediate future with the past, and tells Pharaoh that the hour of mild warnings and slight plagues is gone by. Now he is to expect something far more terrible God will send all his plagues - every worst form of evil - in rapid succession; and will send them against his heart. Each will strike a blow on that perverse and obdurate heart - each will stir his nature to its inmost depths. Conscience will wake up and insist on being heard. All the numerous brood of selfish fears and alarms will bestir themselves. He will tremble, and be amazed and perplexed. He will forego his pride and humble himself, and beg the Israelites to be gone, and even intreat that, ere they depart, the leaders whom he has so long opposed, will give him their blessing (Exodus 12:32). That thou mayest know. Pharaoh was himself to be convinced that the Lord God of Israel was, at any rate, the greatest of all gods. He was not likely to desert at once and altogether the religion in which he had been brought up, or to regard its gods as nonexistent. But he might be persuaded of one thing - that Jehovah was far above them. And this he practically acknowledges in vers. 27 and 28.
For now I will stretch out my hand, that I may smite thee and thy people with pestilence; and thou shalt be cut off from the earth.
Verse 15. - For now I will stretch out my hand. It is generally agreed by modern writers that this translation fails to give the true sense of the original God does not here announce what he is going to do, but what he might have done, and would have done, but for certain considerations. Translate, "For now might I have stretched out my hand, and smitten thee and thy people with pestilence; and then thou hadst been cut off from the earth." Scripture shows that pestilence is always in God's power, and may at any time be let loose to scourge his foes, and sweep them into the pit of destruction. (See Leviticus 26:25; Numbers 11:33; Numbers 14:12; Numbers 16:46; 2 Samuel 24:13-15, etc.) He had not done now what he might have done, and what Pharaoh's obstinacy might well have provoked him to do; and why? On account of the considerations contained in the next verse.
And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
Verse 16. - And in very deed, etc. Rather, "But truly for this cause have I caused thee to stand," i.e., "kept thee alive and sustained thee in the position thou occupiest" for to shew to thee my power - i.e., to impress thee, if it is possible that thou canst be impressed, with the greatness of my power, and the foolishness of any attempt to resist it, and also that my name may be declared throughout all the earth - i.e., that attention may be called widely among the neighbouring nations to the great truth that there is really but one God, who alone can deliver, and whom it is impossible to resist.
As yet exaltest thou thyself against my people, that thou wilt not let them go?
Verse 17. - As yet. Rather "still." And the whole verse should be rendered - "Dost thou still oppose thyself against my people, so as not to let them go." The verb translated "oppose" - ("exalt" in the A.V.) - is strictly "to raise a mound, or bank," thence "to obstruct," "oppose."
Behold, to morrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail, such as hath not been in Egypt since the foundation thereof even until now.
Verse 18. - To-morrow about this time. As it might have been thought that Moses had done nothing very extraordinary in predicting a storm for the next day, a more exact note of time than usual was here given. Compare Exodus 8:23; Exodus 9:5. I will cause it to rain a very grievous hail. Rain, and, still more, hail are comparatively rare in Egypt, though not so rare as stated by some ancient authors (Herod, 3:10; Pomp. Mela, De Situ Orbis, 1:9). A good deal of rain falls in the Lower Country, where the north wind brings air loaded with vapour from the Mediterranean; particularly in the winter months from December to March. Snow, and hail, and thunder are during those months not very uncommon, having been witnessed by many modern travellers, as Pococke, Wansleben, Seetzen, Perry, Tooke, and others. They are seldom, however, of any great severity. Such a storm as here described (see especially vers. 23, 24) would be quite strange and abnormal; no Egyptian would have experienced anything approaching to it, and hence the deep impression that it made (ver. 27). Since the foundation thereof. Not "since the original formation of the country" at the Creation, or by subsequent alluvial deposits, as Herodotus thought (2:5-11), but "since Egypt became a nation" (see ver. 24). Modern Egyptologists, or at any rate a large number of them, carry back this event to a date completely irreconcilable with the Biblical chronology - Bockh to B.C. 5702, Unger to B.C. 5613, Mariette and Lenormant to B.C. 5004, Brugsch to B.C. 4455, Lepsius to B.C. 3852, and Bunsen (in one place) to B.C. 3623. The early Egyptian chronology is, however, altogether uncer-rain, as the variety in these dates sufficiently intimates. Of the dynasties before the (so-called) eighteenth, only seven are proved to be historical, and the time that the Old and Middle Empires lasted is exceedingly doubtful. All the known facts are sufficiently met by such a date as B.C. 2500-2400 for the Pyramid Kings, before whose time we have nothing authentic. This is a date which comes well within the period allowed for the formation of nations by the chronology of the Septuagint and Samaritan versions.
Send therefore now, and gather thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field; for upon every man and beast which shall be found in the field, and shall not be brought home, the hail shall come down upon them, and they shall die.
Verse 19. - Thy cattle, and all that thou hast in the field. During winter and early spring, the Egyptians kept their cattle "in the field," as other nations commonly do. When the inundation began (June or July), they were obliged to bring them into the cities and enclosed villages, and house them. The time of the "Plague of Hail" appears by all the indications w have been the middle of February. They shall die. Human life was now for the first time threatened. Any herdsmen that remained with the cattle in the open field and did not seek the shelter of houses or sheds would be smitten by the huge jagged hailstones with such force that they would be killed outright, or else die of their wounds.
He that feared the word of the LORD among the servants of Pharaoh made his servants and his cattle flee into the houses:
Verse 20. - He that feared the word of the Lord among the servants of Pharaoh. It is a new fact that any of the Egyptians had been brought to "fear the word of Jehovah." Probably, the effect of the plagues had been gradually to convince a considerable number, not so much that Jehovah was the one True God as that he was a great and powerful god, whose chastisements were to be feared. Consequently there were now a certain number among the "servants of Pharaoh" who pro-fired by the warning given (ver. 19), and housed their cattle and herdsmen, in anticipation of the coming storm.
And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.
Verse 21. - He that regarded not. If there were men who believed in the power and truthfulness of Jehovah, there were probably more who did not believe. As Lot "seemed as one that mocked unto his sons-in-law" (Genesis 19:14), so Moses and Aaron appeared to the great mass of the Egyptians. As observed above, a hail-storm that could endanger life, either of man or beast, was beyond all Egyptian experience, and must have seemed almost impossible.
And the LORD said unto Moses, Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven, that there may be hail in all the land of Egypt, upon man, and upon beast, and upon every herb of the field, throughout the land of Egypt.
Verse 22. - Stretch forth thine hand toward heaven. The action was appropriate, as the plague was to come from the heaven. Similarly, in the first and second plagues, Aaron's hand had been stretched out upon the waters (Exodus 7:19, 20; Exodus 8:6); and in the third upon "the dust of the ground" (Exodus 8:17). And upon every herb of the field - i.e., upon all forms of vegetable life. (Compare Genesis 1:30; Genesis 9:3.)
And Moses stretched forth his rod toward heaven: and the LORD sent thunder and hail, and the fire ran along upon the ground; and the LORD rained hail upon the land of Egypt.
Verse 23. - Moses stretched forth his rod. In the last set of three plagues, the earthly agent was Moses (Exodus 9:10; Exodus 10:13, 22), whose diffidence seems to have worn off as time went on, and he became accustomed to put himself forward. Thunder and hail. Thunder had not been predicted; but it is a common accompaniment of a hail-storm, the change of temperature produced by the discharge of electricity no doubt conducing to the formation of hailstones. The fire ran along upon the ground. Some very peculiar electrical display seems to be intended - something corresponding to the phenomena called "fireballs," where the electric fluid does not merely flash momentarily, but remains for several seconds, or even minutes, before it disappears.
So there was hail, and fire mingled with the hail, very grievous, such as there was none like it in all the land of Egypt since it became a nation.
Verse 24.- Fire mingled with the hail. Rather, "There was hail, and in the midst of the hail a fire infolding itself." The expression used is the same which occurs in Ezekiel 1:4. It seems
And the hail smote throughout all the land of Egypt all that was in the field, both man and beast; and the hail smote every herb of the field, and brake every tree of the field.
Verse 25. - The hall smote. It is to the hail and not to the lightning that the great destruction of men and beasts is attributed. Such lightning, however, as is spoken of, would probably kill some. All that was in the field. According to the warning given (ver. 19), the herdsmen and cattle left in the open air and not brought into the sheds were killed. The hail emote every herb of the field. Even in our own temperate climate, which is free from all atmospheric extremes, hailstorms occasionally do so much damage to crops that it has been found desirable to organise a special insurance against loss from this cause. Such hail as that described in the text would greatly injure every crop that was many inches above the soil, and entirely destroy such as had gone to ear. (See below, ver. 31.) Broke every tree - i.e., damaged the smaller branches and twigs, thus destroying the prospect of fruit.
Only in the land of Goshen, where the children of Israel were, was there no hail.
Verse 26. - Only in the land of Goshen, etc. Compare Exodus 8:22; Exodus 9:4; Exodus 10:23.

CHAPTER 9:27-35
And Pharaoh sent, and called for Moses and Aaron, and said unto them, I have sinned this time: the LORD is righteous, and I and my people are wicked.
Verses 27-35. - The plague of hail impressed the Pharaoh more than any previous one. It was the first which had inflicted death on men. It was a most striking and terrible manifestation. It was quite unlike anything which the Egyptians had ever experienced before (vers. 18, 24). It was, by manifest miracle, made to fall on the Egyptians only (ver. 26). Pharaoh was therefore more humbled than ever previously. He acknowledged that he "had sinned" (ver. 27); he added a confession that "Jehovah [alone] was righteous, he and his people wicked" (ibid.). And, as twice before, he expressed his willingness to let the Israelites take their departure if the plague were removed (ver. 28). The ultimate results, however, were not any better than before. No sooner had Moses prayed to God, and procured the cessation of the plague, than the king repented of his repentance, "hardened his heart;" and, once more casting his promise to the winds, refused to permit the Israelites to depart (vers. 33-35). His people joined him in this act of obduracy (ver. 34), perhaps thinking that they had now suffered the worst that could befall them. Verse 27. - And Pharaoh sent. Compare Exodus 8:8, and 25-28. Pharaoh had been driven to entreat only twice before. I have sinned this time. The meaning is, "I acknowledge this time that I have sinned" (Kaliseh, Cook). "I do not any longer maintain that my conduct has been right." The confession is made for the first time, and seems to have been extorted by the terrible nature of the plague, which, instead of passing off, like most storms, continued. The Lord is righteous, etc. Literally, "Jehovah is the Just One; and I and my people are the sinners." The confession seems, at first sight, ample and satisfactory; but there is perhaps some shifting of sin, that was all his own, upon the Egyptian "people," which indicates disingenuousness.
Intreat the LORD (for it is enough) that there be no more mighty thunderings and hail; and I will let you go, and ye shall stay no longer.
Verse 28. - Mighty thunderings. Literally, as in the margin, "voices of God." Thunder was regarded by many nations of antiquity as the actual voice of a god. In the Vedic theology, Indra spoke in thunder. The Egyptian view on the subject has not been ascertained.
And Moses said unto him, As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread abroad my hands unto the LORD; and the thunder shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail; that thou mayest know how that the earth is the LORD'S.
Verse 29. - As soon as I am gone out of the city. "The city" is probably Tanis (Zoan). We may gather from the expression of this verse, and again of verse 33, that Moses and Aaron did not live in the city, but in the country with the other Israelites. When it was necessary for them to have an interview with the king, they sought the city: when their interview was over they quitted it. To obtain for Pharaoh a speedy accomplishment of his wish, Moses undertakes to pray for the removal of the plague as soon as he is outside the city walls. That thou mayest know that the earth is the Lord's. The phrase used is ambiguous. It may mean either "that the earth is Jehovah's," or "that the land (of Egypt) is his." On the whole, perhaps the former rendering is the best. The other plagues sufficiently showed that Egypt was Jehovah's; this, which came from the open heaven that surrounds and embraces the whole world, indicated that the entire earth was his. (Comp. Psalm 24:1: "The earth is the Lord's and the fulness thereof: the world, and they that dwell therein.")
But as for thee and thy servants, I know that ye will not yet fear the LORD God.
Verse 30. - I know that ye will not yet fear the Lord. True fear of God is shown by obedience to his commands. Pharaoh and his servants had the sort of fear which devils have - " they believed and trembled." But they had not yet that real reverential fear which is joined with love, and has, as its fruit, obedience. So the event showed. (See verses 34, 35.)
And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was in the ear, and the flax was bolled.
Verse 31. - The flax and the barley was smitten. Flax was largely cultivated by the Egyptians, who preferred linen garments to any other (Herod. 2:37), and allowed the priests to wear nothing but linen. Several kinds of flax are mentioned as grown in Egypt (Plin. H. N. 19:1); and the neighbourhood of Tanis is expressly said to have been one of the places where the flax was produced. The flax is boiled, i.e. blossoms towards the end of January or beginning of February, and the barley comes into ear about the same time, being commonly cut in March. Barley was employed largely as the food of horses, and was used also for the manufacture of beer, which was a common Egyptian beverage. A certain quantity was made by the poorer classes into bread.
But the wheat and the rie were not smitten: for they were not grown up.
Verse 32. - The wheat and the rie were not smitten, for they were not grown up. In Egypt the wheat harvest is at least a month later than the barley harvest, coming in April, whereas the barley harvest is finished by the end of March. Rye was not grown in Egypt; and it is generally agreed that the Hebrew word here translated "rie" means the Holcus sorghum, or doora, which is the only grain besides wheat and barley represented on the Egyptian monuments. The doora is now raised commonly as an after-crop; but, if sown late in the autumn, it would ripen about the same time as the wheat.
And Moses went out of the city from Pharaoh, and spread abroad his hands unto the LORD: and the thunders and hail ceased, and the rain was not poured upon the earth.
Verse 33. - The rain was not poured upon the earth. Rain had not been previously mentioned, as it was no part of the plague, that is, it caused no damage. But Moses, recording the cessation as an eye-witness, recollects that rain was mingled with the hail, and that, at his prayer, the thunder, the hail, and the rain all ceased. The touch is one which no later writer would have introduced.
And when Pharaoh saw that the rain and the hail and the thunders were ceased, he sinned yet more, and hardened his heart, he and his servants.
Verse 34. - He sinned yet more, and hardened his heart. Altogether there are three different Hebrew verbs, which our translators have rendered by "harden," or "hardened" - kabad, qashah, and khazaq. The first of these, which occurs in Exodus 7:14; Exodus 8:15, 32; Exodus 9:7 and 34, is the weakest of the three, and means to be "dull" or "heavy," rather than "to be hard." The second, which appears in Exodus 7:3, and Exodus 13:15, is a stronger term, and means "to be hard," or, in the Hiphil, "to make hard." But the third has the most intensive sense, implying fixed and stubborn resolution. It occurs in Exodus 4:21; Exodus 7:22; Exodus 8:19; Exodus 9:35; and elsewhere. He and his servants. Pharaoh's "servants," i.e. the officers of his court, still, it would seem, upheld the king in his impious and mad course, either out of complaisance, or because they were really not yet convinced of the resistless might of Jehovah. After the eighth plague, we shall find their tone change (Exodus 10:7). Ver 35. - As the Lord had spoken by Moses. Compare Exodus 3:19; Exodus 4:21; and Exodus 7:3, 4

And the heart of Pharaoh was hardened, neither would he let the children of Israel go; as the LORD had spoken by Moses.
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